New sails - your experience and advice most welcome

Seakindly

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I'm up for a new mainsail. Last one threadbare and droopy. I don't do racing. Wondering about fully battened and packaway. Also concerned re. depowering a fully battened -esp. if solo. One sailmaker recommends threequarter battened as a good compromise and still stackable. Also am confused about these new materials: Premium Woven Dacron, or Polyester Cruising Laminate or Pentex Cruising Laminate. Laminate sounds a bit techie to me but when I try to research it more, the more I get confused. Ideas?
 

FullCircle

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What size boat are we talking about? Is it for coastal work/bit offshore , or further afield?

Lots of choices/extras which affect price.
 

sailorman

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IMHO & costly experience DON'T touch Laminated Hd Sails

i have a Dracon main fully battened with Fredericksen cars, sail by Gowen.
now 8 seasons old still good cars are first class & will out live a number of sails
 

michael_w

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Talk to your sailmaker.

In a nutshell, Dacron will remain a triangle for ever, though it will be a complete sack and only good for covering firewood. Dacron is cost effective for small boats where the loadings aren't too high

Laminates will retain their shape for their working life. But their ultimate life is not as long as Dacron. You pays your money......

FWIW I had a Pentex with taffeta backed mainsail and a furling genoa made for my Contessa 33, which where used for an Atlantic circuit. After 18,00 miles the sails where still perfect. A touch of leach curl on the genoa accepted.

When my current boat needs new sails I'll be buying laminates.
 

PeterGibbs

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Talk with Andrew Cross at Crusader (no connection to me) for impartial advice on "our kind of sailing". Likely you will come away with justification for another dacron main (as I have recently) Main reason being that I would not be able, on my boat, to tell the difference in speed over the course with a higher spec sail.

So apart from "head turning" which does affect an unreasonable number in our fratenity, you would do well with the regular white handkerchief...!

Of course, if you fly a blue ensign, you should rid yourself of dacron in all its manifestations and forthwith, otherwise how could you be taken seriously by the "head turners"

PWG
 

Athene V30

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[ QUOTE ]
Of course, if you fly a blue ensign, you should rid yourself of dacron in all its manifestations and forthwith, otherwise how could you be taken seriously by the "head turners"

[/ QUOTE ] I like my blue (matches my eyes) but I do hope no one takes me seriously /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

wingdiver

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We bought a new main and mizzen two years ago (from Kemps as it happens).
The main is fully battened with Harken cars and external track. The mizzen is three quarter battened. Both have packaway/stackpack systems with lazy jacks.
To be honest, they both work well. However, we really went for fully battened/track on the mainsail as the main mast is around 55ft tall, on the basis that anything that helps raising and lowering a sail of that size is a bonus.
Neither sail is laminated.
 

johnalison

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Both my sails are from Kemp. The jib is laminate and 7 seasons old (about 14,000 miles) and is still fair. Kemp advised against laminate for the main and provided a rip-stop dacron material which is pretty good after five seasons. I believe other makers use a similar cloth.

Fully battened with lazyjacks makes a good system, with or without a "bag" but it is essential to get the best cars possible. I can raise my main easily without a winch, and it drops freely, but I often see people struggling hard with theirs.
 

ditchcrawler

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I bought new sails 2 seasons ago.Had a fully battened cross cut main which holds its shape well & drops into the lazy bag a treat.Shape is very good in light airs.I don't find depowering a problem as I release the kicker.True you cannot scandalise a FB main but who does anyway.I plumped for a Triradial laminate genoa & it sets beautifully.My previous genoa was a 150% & new one is 130%.I can hold full sail up to higher wind strengths & have a padded luff when I reefgenoa(not often).I got quotes from the usual S coast sailmakers & a couple on E coast.I ended up with Hyde sails & am very pleased.They came to measure boat which S coasters would not do.You may have a standard boat but often standard sails do not fit.Get sails measured if you can.Charles Devenport at Hyde is the East Coast man & knows his stuff.Give him a ring on 01702 586715 Mob 07889 250888.
No association just a satisfied customer.
 

Seakindly

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Thanks for all this. Apols for not getting back sooner -got to pay for the things somehow. All these contributions most helpful. What kind of boat and sailing? An old Rival 32 which is fairly heavy, long, quite shallow fin, built more for steady long-distance work than racing. Keeps going in any weather. Sailing E.C. but will keep it for some voyaging stuff later on. Maybe more important is the sailor - bit of a duffer on a steep learning curve when it come to trim, extracting the extra half knot and leaping around to re-position the cars. I realise a good set of sails won't help if my skills are rusty but I won't learn more with sails that are beyond hope. Mind you, a friend of mine crosses the pond with alarming frequency, alone, with sails just as threadbare. He's not in a hurry. But he's not crossing the Thames estuary as often as us lot and I've come to realise how getting the old boat to sail sweeter might help in catching the tide more often. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

BAtoo

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Last sails on previous boat were Pentex laminate ex Quantum (Parker & Kay), full battened main; 135% tri-radial Jib. Had them 7 & 6 seasons respectively. Still in good condition when boat sold. Raced a bit then hence material choice.
This boat gone for Dacron. Tri-radial 135% jib. Cross cut main with full top-batten, rest conventional. Same makers. Dacron chosen because "we wont race this boat" - but have come 2nd & 3rd in the 2 races we have done!!
Good sails will allow the boat to sail to its potential, it will heel less (keeps SWMBO quiet !!), and you will be able to control the boat better.
Lazy jacks will help sail handling.
Twin line reefing back to the cockpit is best if you can do it.
If the sail area for the boat is a bit low then a FB main will help - but car choice is important. Similarly a 150% genoa may be better but it wont reef well beyond maybe 100%.

A few thoughts FWIW /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

FullCircle

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[ QUOTE ]


Of course, if you fly a blue ensign, you should rid yourself of dacron in all its manifestations and forthwith, otherwise how could you be taken seriously by the "head turners"

PWG

[/ QUOTE ]


Of course Peter. You are the primary reason I now fly a Blue. Its wonderful.
 

PeterGibbs

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quote: Of course Peter. You are the primary reason I now fly a Blue. Its wonderful.

__________________________
That's done it! I'm going to get a massive red ensign made up - to hell with the cost. I will specify "trailing in the water, seriously not to be overlooked" - I might go to Holland for it, they routinely carry such ensigns....and I will carry it day and night like the Dutchies do.. I will not be....I am not a number!

PWG
With acknowledgements to "The Prisoner"
 
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